Urumi | Movie Review

Krishna Das (Prithviraj) owns ancestral property in Kerala, which he about to sell to a multi-national mining corporation, without realizing the history and heritage of the land. To make him realize its importance, Thandachan (Arya), chief of the forest area, narrates the story of Kelu (Prithviraj), Vavvali (Prabhu Deva) and Ayesha (Genelia D’Souza), on how they fought against the tyrant Portuguese in the 16th century. Kelu’s fight against Vasco Da Gama forms the basic story line of the movie.

Artists Performance
Its been a long time since I saw a movie with so many top-notch actors (reminded me of Mayabazaar). Prithviraj, as the main lead was good. Though his body was well toned, I thought he looked a bit bulky. Prabhu Deva was excellent as Kelu’s sidekick. He provides the only laughs in the movie. I never really realized how beautiful Genelia is until I watched this movie. She looked absolutely gorgeous. Her character though was a very inconsistent. She is angry at Kelu for destroying her kingdom, but at the same time falls in love with him (all in the same scene). Nitya Menen and Vidya Balan have very short roles and are adequate (We get a glimpse of Vidya Balan’s “Dirty Picture” in one song). Jagathy Sreekumar is superb as the prime minister. His is the best performance of the movie. He is rivaled only by Amol Gupte, who is excellent in his role as the helpless king. Tabu and Arya have guest appearances (Tabu looked old!)

Santosh Sivan happens to be a very talented cinematographer, period. But his choice of films as a director has always been strange. After delivering a period dud like Asoka in 2001, he once again tried to create something similar, but this time on a much larger scale with a bigger ensemble of cast. And to his credit, does a good job this time around. But it is the story by Shankar Ramakrishnan which disappoints. For starters, he tried to relate historical characters with current generation, which I thought was absolutely unnecessary. The mining corporation wanting to buy the land, the NGO, etc were totally unnecessary and helped the story in no way. He should have stuck with the 16th century to develop a much better script. Also, being a movie about Kerala, it seemed like a lot of the story line was edited for the Telugu version, which made the screenplay horrible. Few scenes ended so abruptly that they made no sense.

Other Departments
Music by Deepak Dev is really good for the songs. But when it comes to the background music, he rips off tunes from Pirates of the Caribbean and Gladiator. Something more original would have done better justice to the movie. For a dubbed movie, the lyrics happened to be really good. My favorites were “Chinni Chinni” and “Neevevaro”. The later was brilliantly picturized. Editing by Sreekar Prasad was fine. Being a Santosh Sivan film, it is supposed to be visually extravagant, and he does not disappoint.

Now I understand why they dont usually dub Malayalam movies into Telugu. Forget lip-sync, it was as if I was watching a Japanese dubbing movie initially. I heard really good reviews about the film from my Mallu friends and therefore decided to give it a try. But I was actually disappointed. Having such a great ensemble of cast, Santosh Sivan could have made a much better movie. But lack of punch in the script, atleast for the Telugu audience, is a big let down. Great cinematography, good acting, but half baked script and untidy screenplay thwart my expectations. There is absolutely no entertainment in the movie (It was like watching a story from my History book). I would have preferred watching the Mallu version rather than spending 150 bucks on this. I suggest you do what I dint!

Verdict: 6.5/10

Kanchana | Movie Review

It is impossible for me to write a detailed review on this movie. I already wasted 3 hours of my precious time watching it.

A thriller which was comical, wherein every actor overacts, a message oriented movie which makes no impact on the audience. With its concept, the film could have been much much better with a better script. Direction was horrible, screenplay and cinematography average, music mediocre.

Overall, a disappointment!

Verdict: 3.5/10

Nanna | Movie Review

Krishna (Vikram) is a mentally challenged guy working in a chocolate factory at Ooty. His wife expires while giving birth to their child Vennela (Sarah). Krishna and Vennala share a very close father-daughter relationship with both taking care of each other. Vennela is taken away by her grandfather when she is 5. Anuradha (Anushka) is a lawyer who helps fight the case for Krishna, and this forms rest of the story.

Actors Performance
After Kamal Haasan, if there is anyone else who can play such a challenging role, its Vikram. He is exceptionally good playing the mentally challenged father. He expressed a lot using his eyes for most of the movie. He should be really appreciated for taking up such a role. The showstopper though, was baby Sarah. She was brilliant as the daughter and even overshadowed Vikram in certain scenes. However, the screen presence of both Vikram and baby Sarah is minimal during the second half of the movie. Anushka is good as the lawyer, but I felt something lack in her performance. She was looking really good though. Amala Paul has a minor role and was adequate. Naseer has a meaty role and was good. The guy who played Anushka’s assistant was really good.

Its a simple story about the relationship between a mentally challenged father and a doting daughter, and the consequences when they are separated. Director Vijay, who also provided story and screenplay, had a good story at hand with and ensemble of really good artists, but was unable to deliver a complete package. While the first half of the movie was to establish the father daughter relationship, he tried to infuse unnecessary scenes and create humor. Krishna’s friend doubting his wife for helping Krishna with Vennala seemed absurd. He did not make use of the main performers of the film by limiting screen space for both Vikram and baby Sarah in the second half. It seemed more of Anushka’s film post interval. Also, there seemed to be quite a few loopholes in the script. However, he could generate awesome stuff from little Sarah. The screenplay seemed alright, but nothing great.

Other Departments
Music by G. V. Prakash Kumar is alright. Lyrics by Anantha Sriram are mediocre. I could not make sense of even one song in full. Dialogues by Shashak Vennelakanti are ok. Cinematography by Nirav Shah is really good. Its not an expensive film, and the producers made sure to get things right.

Its a movie to be watched for Vikram and baby Sarah. Both of them are surely gonna top the highest awarding honors for the film. Sadly, there is not a strong story to hold up their awesome performance. A better script could have made Nanna create wonders at box office. Also, there is a lot of Tamil nativity in the film (no offence to my Tamil friends). Overall, Nanna is a decent film and can be watched for its performances.

Verdict: 7/10

PS: I went for the movie along with my cousin, and we had quite an experience. We had tickets for Sunday’s show and thought it was for Saturday, realized it almost 30 mins into the movie. Luckily we found exactly 2 empty seats in the packed theater. Once in a life time experience I say.